Monday, January 19, 2015

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters made her reputation by writing exquisitely crafted Victorian novels, always intricately plotted and full of surprises.  In The Little Stranger, she turns her hand to the post-World War II period with similar skill.

Hundreds Hall is in decline.  The Ayres family has come down in the world.  Where there were once enough servants to rival Downton Abbey, now only old Mrs. Ayres and her adult children, Caroline and Roderick, with one maid, attempt to keep the decrepit house and grounds in good enough repair to maintain their home.

Dr. Faraday, whose mother was once a maid in the house,  is called to the house to treat the maid, but quickly becomes entangled in the lives of the family, and of the house.  It's clear to him that something or someone is in the house, a sinister presence that puts them all at risk, and it's up to him to save them all.

Waters is a genius at creating atmosphere, and Hundreds Hall is the model of a haunted English manor.  But Waters is also a master of surprise, and you can be sure that nothing in this book is exactly what it seems.

Perfect for fans of classic ghost stories and of historical fiction, The Little Stranger, which is also available in large print and as a downloadable audio and e-book, will keep you turning pages long into the night.

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